College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 1/4/21
College basketball season is entering conference play, and we have a two-game slate today.
March Madness is a ways off at this point, but you can get in all the college hoops hype by playing daily contests at FanDuel today. If you've played NBA DFS before, it's quite simple: pick a total of eight players -- four guards, three forwards, and one utility spot you can use for either position. Stay within the $50,000 salary cap and field the team you think will score the most fantasy points.
Where scoring differs from NBA is in the blocks and steals categories, with each worth two FanDuel points apiece rather than the three you get in daily NBA contests.
Now that you're in the know, we can attack today's slate, which locks at 8:00 p.m. EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State ($7,900) - The potential top pick in the next NBA draft is a force on both ends of the court. Cunningham leads the Oklahoma State Cowboys with a 28.4% usage rate, per KenPom. He also has an impressive 22.0% assist rate and 3.0% block rate, per KenPom. He's my top overall guard play on this slate. The freshman is averaging 18.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.2 steals/blocks in 33.8 minutes. I will say that it may be tough to roster Cunningham with few viable value plays on the slate, though.
Miles McBride, West Virginia ($7,100) - McBride is a tremendous alternative to Cunningham and comes at a more palatable salary. The sophomore leads the West Virginia Mountaineers in scoring (14.8 per game), assists (4.1 per game), and steals (1.8 per game). He also rarely leaves the court as he's averaging a team-high 33.0 minutes per game. On tap is massive pace-up game for West Virginia as they travel to Oklahoma State. West Virginia is 242nd in KenPom's tempo rankings, while Oklahoma State is 51st.
Eric Ayala, Maryland ($6,500) - Ayala should play as many minutes as he can handle with Darryl Morsell out after having surgery for a facial injury. The matchup with the Indiana Hoosiers is tough, but Ayala checks in with an 126.0 offensive rating, per KenPom (second-best on the team). Prior to Morsell's injury, Ayala was taking 22.3% of the Terrapins shots when he was on the floor, per KenPom. That number figures to increase with Morsell and his 20.9% shot rate off the floor. Teammate Aaron Wiggins ($6,800) is also a solid play.
Hakim Hart, Maryland ($5,200) - Hakim Hart is slated to start on Monday night with Morsell sidelined indefinitely. The sophomore has a solid 118.7 offensive rating, and he's taking 19.2% of the Terrapins shot attempts when he's on the floor, per KenPom. There should be plenty of extra opportunities for the Maryland guards with Morsell and his 21.7% usage rate (per KenPom) sidelined.
Trey Galloway, Indiana ($4,700) - There is a lack of value at the guard spot, but Galloway is viable at a low salary. The Indiana guard has a starting assignment and has played 37 and 32 minutes in each of the last two games, respectively. The freshman's 106.9 offensive rating, per KenPom, is one of the better marks on the Hoosiers' squad. He has topped at least 10 FanDuel points in four straight games. Taz Sherman ($4,900) and Rondel Walker ($3,600) are also worth a look. Sherman won't play a ton of minutes, but he's producing 0.68 FanDuel points per minute. Walker has played at least 23 minutes in seven out of the last eight games that he's played in. He has a really low floor, but he does provide 20 FanDuel points upside if he's playing well.
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana ($7,400) - Jackson-Davis is my favorite overall play on the Monday slate. The sophomore is one of the best players in college basketball. He leads the Hoosiers in usage rate (31.1%), percentage of shots (29.3%), offensive rebounding (10.3%), and defensive rebounding (19.1%), per KenPom. He also has a 6.6% block rate to top it off. TJD catches a Maryland team that was eviscerated by Michigan Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson in their latest outing. Dickenson recorded 26 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block (3 turnovers) in 32 minutes.
Donta Scott, Maryland ($7,100) - One of Maryland's issues is that they have little help coming from the bench. As a result, the Maryland forward logs a ton of minutes. That shouldn't change on Monday as Maryland is down a starter as they take on Indiana. Further enhancing his appeal, Scott has excelled in Big Ten play this season. The Maryland forward is averaging 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.75 assists, and 1.0 blocks/steals in 34.0 minutes in conference play (four games).
Derek Culver, West Virginia ($7,000) - Culver's salary has come down after struggling in the Mountaineers' last two games. He's intriguing due to his ability to contribute in every major statistical category. The Mountaineers will need him step up his play since his frontcourt mate, Oscar Tshiebwe, has left the program. I will say that Culver is a volatile player because his head coach isn't afraid to send a message and bench him when he's not playing well. However, his upside is worth the risk, as he's recorded five double-doubles in 11 games.
Jalen Bridges, West Virginia ($4,600) - As noted above, the Mountaineers lost former McDonald's All-American Oscar Tshiebwe as he left the program. He was playing nearly 20 minutes per game and had a 22.5% usage rate, per KenPom. Bridges started in the Mountaineers first game without Tshiebwe. The freshman scored 19 points, collected 3 rebounds, dished out an assist, and recorded 3 steals in 28 minutes of action. Bridges is one of the better sources of salary relief on Monday night.
Gabe Osabuohien, West Virginia ($4,200) - Like Bridges, Osabuohien should also benefit from Tschiebwe's absence. The senior is averaging 0.73 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 23.1 minutes. Osabuohien has played at least 24 minutes in three out of the last four games, including 26 minutes in the Mountaineers' first game sans Tschiebwe. Osabuohien is the best source of value on this short slate.
Matthew Hiatt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Hiatt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username easternmh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.